Annette Gordon-Reed on Obama’s Ascendency
Annette Gordon-Reed is a professor of law at New York Law School and a professor of history at Rutgers. She earned a place in history with her first book, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, which had an acclaimed but stormy reception when published in 1997, and which The New Yorker described as “brilliant.” She is recognized as one of our country’s most distinguished presidential scholars.Gordon-Reed spent her early career as an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, and as Counsel to the New York City Board of Corrections. She speaks or moderates at numerous conferences across the country on history and law-related topics. Gordon-Reed is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, daughter, and son.
Gordon-Reed: I mean, I would never have thought, you know, a couple of years ago that… I mean, I never thought when he started this out. I never thought, I did not think that he was going to get the nomination. I would not have thought that he would get as far as he has. Right now, looking at the polls, we don’t really know what’s going to happen on Election Day but no it is outstanding. I mean his rise is outstanding and I’ve never met him. I’ve… We both graduated from Harvard Law School and we have, every couple of years, we have sort of reunions of everybody [all] black graduates and he’s come back and spoken a couple of times and he’s just an incandescent personality and he’s clearly not otherworldly in a real sense. I mean, just a remarkably talented person. So, if it’s going to be anybody, it would be somebody like Obama. So, on one hand that gives me a lot of hope that, because as I’ve said, things have definitely changed.
Obama’s rise heartens Annette Gordon-Reed, but she still sees a great deal of progress to be made.
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